NBC Nightly News Goes A Courtin’

By Diane Clehane 

If the NBC Nightly News series “The Secret to Her Success,” produced in partnership with iVillage, seemed like a transplant from the newly installed estrogen-fueled fourth hour of Today, anchor Brian Williams says it’s simply a coincidence. “Our series idea preceded the fourth hour,” says Williams. “Someone here pitched the idea to us and it was a natural way to get more eyeballs seeing our work.”

The week-long series wrapped up last night with a report offering financial advice to women from Jane Bryant Quinn and Today’s Jean Chatzky. Throughout the week the series — which could have been ripped from the pages of Good Housekeeping or Redbook — has focused on female-centric issues including what medical tests women should have and how to ask for a family-friendly flex time schedule at work. On Wednesday, Ann Curry, the newly minted co-host of Today’s fourth hour, reported on studies that showed friendships have a direct result on women’s health. MSNBC.com ran photos sent in by viewers of themselves with their best friends.

But it wasn’t all girl talk this week. Nightly balanced their “seven sisters” sensibility with Williams’ grilling of Gen. David Petraeus about his testimony on Iraq. Of Nightly’s parroting Today’s female vibe Williams says, “Call it synergy, call it what you will, but it just made sense.”

Diane Clehane